Happy Friday to you all!
Well, I confess to being more than a tad excited today, not just because we have the fabulous Liz in the hot seat, but...wait for it...I'm going out tonight to see an amazing Oasis tribute band who are playing down at my local! Yaay! No kidding, they've had some great live music nights! A big shout out to The Old Red House, Thirsk, where the food is great and the company is... questionable! Just joking guys, you're all a fantastic bunch to get along with and I'm so looking forward to tonight!
And now, we get back to Eva's question time and Liz's answers!!
Eva: Good Morning, Liz! Thank you for taking part in my series of author interviews! Lets, get started then! Tell us all about yourself (as in, a bit of a biography). Liz: Good morning to you all, and thank you Eva for this opportunity. Born in Northumberland, I was six when I moved to West Yorkshire, where my mother’s family came from, but went back to Northumberland to attend teacher training college.It was there I met my husband to be, and our first home was Cheltenham – quite a way further south. After a few moves, bringing up non-identical and now adult twin sons, and a wonderful teaching career, we ended up in North Yorkshire, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, which is a wonderful place with lots of scenery and history. I’ve always lived in the country and this is reflected in my books, with many people saying they love my descriptions and they make them want to visit the various places I feature. Being a hill-walker and kakayer, with a husband and sons who also enjoyed caving and climbing, I have a great understanding of the terrain and elements which can make or break when you’re out there in the wild, and this again gets used in some of my books. I also enjoy photography, reading, cooking, watching ballet and listening to music.
How many books have you written up to now? Are they published or self-published? What genre are they?
All seven of my books are contemporary romance with adventure and suspense thrown in. Two – Ullandale and Belonging - are with Next Chapter, but I’ve asked for my rights back and these books will be re-issued as Indies between 10th and 12th August with a few revisions and new covers. Two – Takeover and Counterpoint - are already out there as Indies. Three – the Solhaven Forever series – are published by Romance Café Publishing. I’ve written a historical and Wild Rose Press have shown some interest but want me to do some developmental editing before re-submitting. I’m also planning a sequel to Ullandale and a couple more books are floating round in my head asking to be let out!
Of all the genres there are, is there any genre/s that you feel you wouldn’t be able to write and why? Is there any genre that you really wish you could write, but feel you wouldn’t be able to do it justice? I couldn’t write sci-fi, horror, erotica or dystopian. I’d like to be able to write psychological thrillers but uncertain if I could manage the intricate twists.
Do you have any favourite ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ words that you like to use in your books? What are those words? Also, what words used by other authors irritate you more than they should?
My mind tends to go blank at this point! I’m sure I use some out of the ordinary words but I honestly can’t pull one out! The only thing which can irritate me with other authors is if they use the characters’ names as they speak. Difficult to explain, but an example would be dialogue between Mary and John. We know it’s Mary and John talking, and their names are even used in actions as they’re speaking, but Mary keeps saying John in her speech and John keeps saying Mary. It’s so unnecessary!
Do you sing at all, be it karaoke, in a choir or have done so professionally? Whether you have or not, have you ever written (or had the urge to write) any song lyrics? Have those lyrics been used at all?
Yes, I was a member of my school choir for years. We were considered a good choir and our concerts were always well-attended. We even made a record! I also did some folk singing but found it rather nerve-wracking. I eventually learned some basic guitar chords and used them in schools with the kids and they loved it.
Once, I was telling the whole of the infant department about seeing Bon Jovi the night before, and I commented Richie Sambora was such a good guitar player. One of the children put up a hand and asked “Was he as good as you, Miss?”
Aww – it made my day!
What question would you like to pose, (if you were to ever interview your favourite author), which never seems to get asked in author interviews? And who is that favourite author?
I always find it hard to be asked who my favourite author is, because I have rather a lot of favourite authors – a few of them (and only a few) are Mary Stewart, Dick Francis, Rachel Abbott, Erica James and Rosamunde Pilcher. A question for them… mmm, even harder. Maybe “Do (or sadly for some, did) you ever write something you aren’t (weren’t) happy about because you were pushed into it by your publisher?”
If you were to ever write a children’s book, (and those of you who already do) would you/do you do the illustrating yourself, make use of a family member or friend’s talent or pay an illustrator? Do you solely write or do you have any other creative pursuits?
I have written a children’s book – four, in fact, all following the same character. Trying to find an illustrator when you haven’t got a lot of money to throw at it and can’t guarantee its success is hard. At the moment I have a relative who has offered, and what I’ve seen is good, but I can’t nag when someone is doing it for free!
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite? And why?
I usually like most of my heroes and heroines. I have a very soft spot for Jake, the hero of Love at Sunset, and I rather like Marc, from Belonging, too. (But shhh - don’t tell the others!)
Have you ever killed off a character in your books (I’m sure you have)? If so, was it because…it fitted nicely into the storyline? OR…Did you start to really dislike the character and, with too much work involved to re-write without that character, think it the easiest option to have that person die?
I did kill off the hero’s best mate in my retro rock romance, Counterpoint, and it was horrible and made me (and a lot of my readers) cry. It was done to fit into the storyline, yes.
Are any of your characters based on family members or friends? Have you kept their characters totally true to life or have you given them bonus traits that you wish they possessed in real life?
I sometimes realise I’ve sort of brought someone in, but never the full person, only characteristics.
My husband has grumbled that he can recognise himself when he used to proofread for me! (Ullandale and Counterpoint) But then, who else would I use as my hero?
Relationships/family life aside, what are your TWO main regrets in life?
Absolutely none when it comes to relationships and family life – I’ve been so lucky with a wonderful family and husband.
This is very personal - when my mum was dying, I deeply regret I hadn’t the courage to stay with her to the end.
I regret the loss of my hill-walking abilities due to hip and back problems.
What was your passion as a child? Did that passion stay with you during your adult life OR did you, as you grew up begin to detest what you once enjoyed?
Reading, hill-walking, play-acting. The first two have stayed with me always. As for play-acting, I actually think I might have been quite good at acting!
What was your best subject throughout your school years? And your worst?
English and French were my best, and maths my worst!
Tell us about your favourite teacher throughout your school years? Was it a crush you had? Were they just an excellent teacher of your favourite subject?? Or some other reason…kind, fun, generous…?
Two teachers stand out in my mind for the excellence and enthusiasm they had for their subject – Mrs Cartmel was a superb English teacher, and Mrs Scott an inspiring French teacher.
Did either of your parents ever express a wish to write? Are they supportive and proud of your work? Or do they just choose to not get involved, but they are pleased for you?
Neither of my parents wrote but both were avid readers. Sadly, both had died before my first book was published.
Tell us about your ultimate ambition, be it personal, travel, writing, work, hobby related or other?
I’ve never had ambitions as such, but I have always been curious and my life has been full to the brim – a good and lasting relationship, travel and exploring, an enjoyable job and hobbies I’ve enjoyed.
Now, I think my ambition is to see greater sales and certainly more reviews for my books. Unfortunately, a lot of people who’ve read them don’t have an amazon account, or don’t spend enough, so they can’t leave reviews.
Do you have any phobias and if so, what are they? Have you ever conquered any phobia and if so, how did you do it?
I’m claustrophobic – genuinely. It’s my belief that a fear can be overcome, but a phobia is beyond reason. I was unable to have an MRI scan until I was dosed up on diazepam, taken to a shorter and slightly wider diameter machine so my head remained outside, and even then, I had to have my husband holding my hand!
Most people I know are not happy with something physical about themselves (face/body etc.,) but if you could change anything about your personality, what would you wish to change?
Um, nothing really! I’m fairly happy with my character.
What is your ‘go to’ snack, whatever the time of day? And drink of your choice?
I don’t really have a go-to snack but I enjoy green tea and will often have three mini chocolate rice cakes with my drink. But only with the drink.
Cats or dogs? What do you have? Do you introduce any pets into your books?
I was brought up with dogs and love them, but sadly, my husband was terrorised as a child for a couple of years by a collie who would pounce as soon as he left his garden and snap at his heels, so it put him off dogs. My husband is a cat whisperer and so we’ve always had cats, because I hate a house without pets, We’ve always had rescues and I’ve loved them all. Our latest two are Rags and Scrap
Thank you once again Liz for a fascinating insight into your life! AND FINALLY, Hit me up with all your Amazon book-links? And the links to your website and social media profiles?
COMING UP NEXT WEEK:
Tuesday: Young author, Kilayla Pilon
Friday: Author, Pam C. Golden
It just remains for me to wish you all a happy and fun-filled weekend.
Ciao for now!